"Buy land, they ain't making more of the stuff" - Will Rogers
It's only fitting that the world's most modern plane brought us to a place that remains untouched in a way only seen in old Western films. Upon arrival at Rancho Las Cascadas, a short drive from Mexico City, we were taken to another time and an entirely different way of life. We live in New York, don't ride horses, love sunny beach vacations and there we were in rural Mexico looking like we were attempting a remake of City Slickers. What we found was no shortage of sun, a glorious pool, unmatched tranquility, great wifi, authentic culture and a whole lot of city cowboy.....
As Swiss owner Ursula Wiprächtiger put it to me, "mi casa su casa" is the operating theme for this all inclusive luxury ranch set in the Mexican highlands. I very much enjoyed the "mi casa" feel to the all inclusive service. I loved being served authentic meals and being catered to, while also being reminded that I am welcome to grab a beer out of the fridge or make a margarita at my leisure while moseying about the grounds. Though I don't often make myself a margarita with a blender in my own house, I certainly did at the ranch...more often than I'd care to admit.
If you seek the meat market, high rise, dance club type vibe in Mexico, this place simply is not for you. Rancho Las Cascadas is far more "escape the world" tranquil and boutique than "meet the world" night club. Rooms are tastefully decorated with faithful Mexican accents, nicely spacious and all have access to free wifi. Though the rooms are beautiful, they are basic. What separates this property is the house like feel. There are seating and social areas spread throughout the ranch grounds, and relaxing by a fire place or the hot tub as the desert sun set every night is a truly serene experience.
You have to laugh at a city slicker coming to a Mexican ranch and riding a horse named "Versace". Laura and I are novice riders at best, but the wranglers and stable hands gave us the confidence (and trusty horses) to turn us into cowboys, if only for a few days. The rides were flexible to all levels and allowed for advanced riders to split off into faster groups while we slowly grazed our way across the plains. The ranch seems to have a symbiotic relationship with the local villages and on rides we often stopped and tied up the horses to buy a bottle of water (or Corona) in an authentic Mexican town. I must say, drinking a beer in such a local, old world town felt like something out of a Tarantino movie, and I got a real kick out of it. As someone new to "ranch" vacations, I found it worth noting that the more avid riders were extremely complimentary of the quality of riding, as well as flexibility versus other ranches to roam, gallop and move as they pleased. Guests have the option to ride in the morning and the afternoon or not at all. We found a long morning ride and an afternoon by the pool to be just what the doctor ordered. Not sure on the doctors thoughts about margaritas...
As for "pro" tips I highly suggest taking a day or half day excursion during your stay. We did not have adequate time to do so, but for guests staying more than two days, it seemed like an excellent opportunity to break up the stay and experience different sites such as Mexico City and the Pyramids. Though meals are served community style, there were guests with dietary restrictions and the kitchen was more than happy to prepare something different to accommodate, just make sure to let them know on arrival. There are dogs and cats around the property, its a ranch. If you have allergies I would communicate this in advance with the staff. If you love dogs and cats (we do), you can have as much or as little contact with them as you wish. We opted for lots and I spent an afternoon sharing a beach chair with a beautiful dog named Bambi by the pool.
There is an art to being catered and pampered to in a homely manner. There were no staff to be found wearing shiny blazers and white gloves with hands out, instead we found a small group of genuinely caring people who looked after our every need (and margarita), made delicious meals and arranged anything we required, giving us an ultra luxe feeling without the pompous feel. If you want to escape, and sit by a pool in a very quiet boutique setting you may, if you want to see if you have any hidden cowboy, you may, and if you want to make margaritas and do both, we did, and loved it.
Contact the Hotel: http://rancholascascadas.com
Contact us (as always): firstname.lastname@example.org
Occasionally we are offered preferred rates from hotels/airlines/services in exchange for a review. As a reader, I hope you know that though the rate is appreciated, it does not affect our judgement in writing. We write a blog about bringing elevated travel at minimal expense and refusing a preferred rate would be foolish. These rates have never nor will they ever contract or guarantee a good review from us, just A review. These opinions are our own and are not influenced.